Worsbrough Castle Hill

Has been described as a Rejected Uncertain

There are earthwork remains

NameWorsbrough Castle Hill
Alternative NamesHighstone Hill
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityBarnsley
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishBarnsley

Worsbrough Castle Hill - SE 346050. Hilltop/promontory location line of sight Stainborough, like which De Lacy Domesday. Castle Hill 1841 Tithe Award. Now open space/playground, the roughly oval site appears scarped to south and south-west, with faint indications of possible damage banking on that side. A 1778 print shows a very large castellated structure, clearly a Gothic folly, extending along the ridge including Castle Hill. This is referred to in the 1817 enclosure act for Worsbrough Common, although the ambiguous wording ("castle ruins and castellated buildings") leaves open the possibility of earlier remains then also present. Wilkinson in his 'History of Worsbrough' and William Smith in "Old Yorkshire vol. I" both suggest fortification evidence in the town's name Smith detecting 'wark' i.e. fortified building, and Wilkinson seeing the name as meaning 'fortified place of refuge' with the 'burh' element. (Sneyd)

SE 347050 "An almost certain hill fort (Iron Age) considerably damaged" at Worsbrough Common. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The archaeological database records for an Iron Age hillfort do not appear to be aware of the large C18 folly on the site, these databases also place the site slightly to the east, presumably based on the location of the Castle Hill name on the OS map rather than the location the name refers to. Despite these reports it seems to Gatehouse it was unlikely this was the site of an Iron Age hillfort. It also appears quite unlikely there were any medieval buildings here. The place-name element 'brough' probably means hill here rather than 'burh' (That is berga rather than burh ).

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE346050
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 19
  • Hogg, A.H.A., 1979, British hillforts: an index (British Archaeological Reports British Series 62) p. 144
  • Challis, A.J. and Harding, D.W., 1975, Later Prehistory Trent to Tyne (British Archaeological Reports British Series 20.2) p. 47
  • Greenwell, N., 1881, 'West Riding Place-names' in Smith, Wm (ed), Old Yorkshire Vol. 1 p. 216 online copy (dated place-name study)
  • Wilkinson, J., 1872, Worsbrough: Its Historical Associations and Rural Attractions (Barnsley)